Rutgers Hikes Tuition Again [AUDIO]
The Rutgers University Board of Governors approved a 3.5 percent hike in tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year, despite passionate opposition from students and faculty.
In-state undergraduate students will be paying about $430 dollars more in tuition. Room and board will increase by 1.5 percent.
Dozens of students gathered outside the planned board meeting on Thursday, then crowded into the hearing when open session began.
Margarita Rosario, 19, said the hike in tuition is costing students a whole year worth of meals. Rosario dropped out because of costs during her freshman year, but was recently able to return when she got rid of her meal plan and on-campus housing.
"A lot of these students are not having their parents pay," she said. "A lot of these students are paying out of pocket."
"These small increases really amount for students like myself who only have roughly 50 dollars a month to spend on food as it is," added Rutgers junior David Bedford.
The university increased tuition by 2.5 percent last July.
According to the university's vice president of budgeting, the hike was needed to fund mandatory cost increases like salary bumps. One percent of the tuition increase will be used as seed money for projects.
Rutgers AAUP-AFT, the faculty union, joined students in their fight against increasing costs. According to Rutgers, the union said, 73 percent of students already receive financial aid to afford undergraduate tuition, fees, and board.
The Board of Governors was also urged by New Jersey lawmakers to hold the line on tuition.
“One of the great appeals of Rutgers is that it has long been an outstanding university that’s highly affordable. But year after year, all across the country, tuition rates are steadily rising, pricing college out of reach for more and more students," said Assemblywoman Celeste Riley (D).